“In Korea in those days, newborn girls were not deemed important enough to be graced with formal names, but were instead given nicknames, which often reflected the parents’ feelings on the birth of a daughter: I knew a girl named Anger, and another called Pity. As for me, my paren
(view spoiler)[ Whether she was being cast out of her home by her father, raped, brutally beaten, what have you….“shocked” or “deeply unhappy” was the extent of her emotional response. I w...more
The main problem I found was that Brennert simply tried to cover too much information, too many issues, and too many themes. It was utterly unbelievable that nearly every famous (or infamous) person in Honolulu durin...more
Brennert has a fantastic voice, reminding me of the only other man I've ever read who coul...more
Men from Korea, Japan, China, and Okinawa went in droves to Hawaii in the early 20th century with promises paradise and the riches to be made there. Instead, they found themselves working under very difficult conditions for very little pay on plantations. They struck up a k...more
Thoroughly enjoyable bit of historical fiction about mail-order-brides who immigrate to Oahu from Korea in the 1920's. James Mitchener's Hawaii continues to be one of my favorites and this book felt like some lost chapters. I love the aloha spirit, history and great storytelling that the author captured so well. Highly recommended. I'm excited to check out Molokai by the same author.
Indeed, I did enjoy it. Honolulu is a fictionalized historic romantic tale of a Korean woman who comes to Honolulu in 1914 as a “picture bride” (equivalent of a mail-order bride) to escape her life as a seco...more
He starts us out in Korea and takes us through the early years of the development of Hawaii and all the struggles this state went through to become what it is today.
You come to think of Jin as a kindred spirit and cheer for her and her family to succeed.
I encourage everyone to read this wonderfully crafted tale from a master of historical fiction.
Much better than Molokai, but still not necessarily the most riveting book ever. I liked how the author wove in several pieces of real history, but the main character's (Jin) involvement in so much of it sometimes made her feel like the Forrest Gump of Honolulu -- she just happens to be in the midst of every major historical event of 20th century Hawaii!
If he comes out with another book, I'll consider it, but I won't race to buy it.
Generally, historical fiction is not a genre I actively seek out unless the subject matter is something that intrigues me or about which I have a particular passion. My brief forays into historicals have led me to discover some amazing books and some which, regrettably, read like nothing more than the history textbooks I so despised when I was in school. I stumbled onto Alan Brennert thro...more
Jin the mai...more
Honolulu follows Jin from her very sad childhood in Korea, to Hawai'i, where she travels by ship as a "picture bride" only to find that the land of plenty and husband of wealth and integrity she was hoping...more
Regret is a young girl who longs to learn to read and write as her brothers are doing in Korea. She is told she cannot go to school and, now that she's getti...more
Regret is the daughter of a Korean family and is unvalued because she is female. She is belittled constantly by her father and feels unwanted in her own home. When she expresses a desire to learn how to read and write, her father hits her telling her she needs to learn her place. However, due to an aunt in another town she is taught how to read by Evening Rose, a kissaen (a type of entertainer of men).